POSTED: Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 11:46pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — For the second straight week freshman Aaron Nola will get the ball in the Tigers opening game of NCAA tournament play.
In the regional a week ago, he led LSU to a victory by pitching eight innings and allowing just one run against ULM.
This time around the Baton Rouge native will try and get his team just one win away from the College World Series.
Nola will face a potent Stony Brook lineup that averaged ten runs a game in regional play at Coral Gables.
“I hope that that experience will serve him well. But not only that game, but also the first game at the SEC tournament. All of it has been done with the hopes of getting to this point. Aaron Nola, as I’ve mentioned many times, is not your typical freshman. He is inordinately composed and poised and confident – he’s a tremendous talent. He’s had a great year and our team has an awful lot of confidence in him. And he’s got a pretty decent chance to be our number one starter next year – he and [Ryan] Eades will battle out for that role. So we have no qualms at all with going with [Aaron Nola] in game one. And he’s going to come out and he’s going to fill that strike zone up and he’s going to let his defense help him. And we like the idea after 129 pitches last weekend of giving [Kevin] Gausman a little rest so that he can go on Saturday. I don’t know what [Stony Brook’s] rotation is, but I’m just surmising that they will not go with their number one starter tomorrow with as much as he threw last weekend and only being on three days rest," LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said.